Frequently Asked Questions

What does LGBTI stand for?
LGBTI is an acronym used to describe lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals.

What does the term lesbian mean?
A lesbian is a woman whose primary emotional and sexual attraction is toward other women.

What does the term gay mean?
Gay is a term used to describe a person whose primary emotional and sexual attraction is toward people of the same sex.  This term is most commonly applied to men, although some women also use it.

What does the term queer mean?
Queer is an umbrella term that includes a range of alternative sexual and gender identities, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.

What does the term bisexual mean?
A person who is emotionally and sexually attracted to people, regardless of their gender. 

What does transgender mean?
A person whose gender identity is different to the gender assigned them at birth. 

What does the term intersex mean?
A person with natural physical, hormonal or genetic features that, according to current medical norms, are: (a) neither wholly female nor wholly male; (b) a combination of female and male features; or, (c) neither male nor female.

What is ‘coming out’?
Coming out is the process through which an LGBTI person comes to recognise and acknowledge (both to self and others) their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.

What is gender identity?
Gender identity refers to a person’s internal, deeply felt sense of being male, female, something other, or in between. 

What is sexual orientation?
Sexual orientation describes a person’s feelings or self-concept, direction of interest, emotional, romantic, sexual attraction or affection toward others.

What is discrimination?
When a person is treated less favourably than other people because of a particular characteristic, such as sexuality, gender identity or intersex status. Also, when a person is disadvantaged compared to other people because they have a particular characteristic.

What is prejudice?
When preconceived negative attitudes are held about people belonging to particular group based on stereotypical beliefs.

How can I support a family member or friend who has ‘come out’?
Supporting someone who has questions about their gender identity or sexual orientation can be as simple as gaining more knowledge and information.  Developing more understanding around someone’s identity can be an affirming and positive experience that can strengthen and deepen your relationship with the person you care about. 

Where can I read more about gender and sexuality?
BeingProud have a fantastic online library of information and resources for Tasmanian parents and families of young people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Sexuality Diverse and Gender Diverse.